BAPRAS launches 'Think Over Before You Make Over' campaign to help consumers make safer cosmetic surgery choices

Posted: 19/02/2015


The British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) has launched ‘Think Over Before You Make Over’, a campaign to improve consumer awareness by providing detailed advice about choosing safe and appropriate cosmetic surgery. 

Cosmetic surgery is becoming increasingly popular and the procedures on offer are becoming more and more varied. This makes it even more important for consumers to ensure they are making informed decisions and considering all their options so they can choose the safest and most effective procedure for their particular needs. 

For the ‘Think Over Before You Make Over’ campaign, BAPRAS conducted a major national study on cosmetic surgery which reveals that thousands of people every year are risking their physical and psychological well-being by undergoing unsafe or inappropriate surgery. Key findings include: 

  • 24% of people having cosmetic surgery do not check the surgeon’s credentials
  • 21% are not aware of the risks associated with the procedure
  • 22% are not clear about the potential outcomes of the procedure before going ahead
  • 27% are unsure whether aftercare is available should anything go wrong. 

BAPRAS found that 59% of patients who had surgery less than two weeks after their initial consultation were less confident about their appearance after surgery. More than half (53%) of patients say that keeping costs down is a major consideration. The old mantra ‘you get what you pay for’ seems to apply as those who chose surgery based on the most cost-effective option were much more likely to have disappointing results or feel less confident about themselves afterwards. 

To help prospective cosmetic surgery consumers make informed decisions and avoid poor outcomes, BAPRAS has put together a five Cs checklist: 

  • Think about the CHANGE you want to see. Research the treatment options and be aware that your exact wishes may not be achievable. 
  • CHECK OUT the surgeons. Make sure the surgeon has the right qualifications and is listed on the appropriate specialist register with the General Medical Council (GMC). Find out whether the surgeon has experience of the specific treatment you are seeking and make sure you have a consultation to discuss the procedure and outcome you can expect before you commit to anything.
  • Have a thorough CONSULTATION. Make sure you ask the right questions and discuss the treatment options available, your specific plan of treatment, the expected outcome, recovery process and potential risks or complications.
  • COOL off before committing to surgery. Take time to carefully consider the proposed treatment and whether you feel comfortable with the surgeon. Do not commit to surgery if you have any doubts and beware of pressure to commit, such as time-sensitive discounts which could influence your decision without allowing you time to properly consider your options.
  • CARE about aftercare. Make sure you know who to contact about aftercare and how you will be looked after. It is important to ensure that you will be looked after if any complications arise. 

For more information about this campaign and more detail about the five Cs, please see the BAPRAS website here

Sarah Gubbins, an associate solicitor in the cosmetic surgery team at Penningtons Manches LLP, comments: “Although the majority of cosmetic surgery is successful, unfortunately, as the BAPRAS study shows, there are thousands of consumers every year who are injured after making uninformed choices or opting for cheaper treatment. This is a major problem which needs to be addressed by educating consumers about how to choose ‘safe’ cosmetic surgery.

“Unfortunately, our clients have often suffered terribly as a result of poor cosmetic surgery and we have previously written about the importance of proper research before undergoing cosmetic surgery (see here). We fully support the ‘Think Over Before You Make Over’ campaign and hope it will help consumers to make more informed decisions.”


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